1. The Web Comes of Age: Hands down, the online growth, both for and against newspapers, was the dominant story in 2006. The daily miracle became less daily and more, well, minute by minute. Not only did numerous papers, from USA Today to Chicago Tribune, either combine their print and Web newsrooms or establish a "24-hour news cycle," but nearly every paper saw their online audience surpass their print readers. Blogs exploded, with dozens sprouting at many papers' sites.
The Pulitzer Prize Board again expanded its rules to allow more online entries, while the New York Times' online "TimesSelect" service drew nearly 200,000 Web-only paid subscribers. More and more stories were broken first on the web, from that New York Times' bank records probe to The Wall Street Journal's scoop that Dean Baquet had been fired.
Add to that newspaper companies lining up with Google and Monster and Yahoo in recent months. The rapid rise of the Web report means newspaper budget wizards need to quickly nail down two things -- how to make more money on the web and whether to charge readers.